The Kurds

I was appalled to discover the history of this unfortunate people. THis is a first outline version with little of the relevant background and only the outline of the argument in favour.

The Kurds have been in their part of the world for about 3000 years. They are an ancient and still identifiable people, and culture, and they have their own language which is as old. And yet, they have never had their own autonomous homeland; they have always been refugees in their own homes.

Before the 20th century, it was the lot of countless smaller peoples in the world to be subject races of others. The aftermath of the first World War was supposed to put an end to that. Europe was sorted out with the breakup of the Ottoman empire, though the Balkans and Baltic states were still in flux at the end of the 20th century.

The middle east had been a battlefield for centuries; Europe had interfered in the crusades, and in establishing empires; and the last great asian empire was the ottoman, which has dissolved and its post-1919 relic was modern Turkey. But in the negotiations in the years following all that, Britain had promised the Kurds a homeland but the government broke its promise — apparently driven by its own interests in oil.

So instead of the creation for them a nation (Kurdistan), that broken promise left the Kurds still scattered among four other countries: Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

In 2003, Jack Straw for the Brisih government said that there was no question of revisiting the question of creating an independent Kurdistan for these people; this seemed to be basically because it would upset Turkey while the UK and USA needed Turkey's support for their action in Iraq.

I consider this a great shame.

My support for the principle of a Kurdish homeland does not mean that I am not extremely critical of some aspects of the Kurdish culture, which has in modern times meant that some very unpleasant individuals have emerged from among the Kurds, as has happened from Albania, where such individuals have become powerful leaders of international organized crime, involved in "white slavery" (kidnap and enforced prostitution), people smuggling (of those slave girls and of others, would-be ilegal economic migrants), and (of course) drug smuggling. Such activity means those gangs also routinely commit murders in the furtherance of their evil businesses.